Installment 1 of an opinion series by Linda Bradshaw about SEO and blogging
One of my favorite classes in college was sociology – the study of society. I like to think that we, as bloggers, are members of a fairly new society. One definition of a society I recently found online is: “An organization or association of persons engaged in a common profession, activity, or interest.”
Much like any society, each group within that society tends to prefer the company of other people in the same group. Sometimes people find themselves in one group or the other without even realizing that they have choices that they can make to change from one group to another. Rather like “gang” activity on the city streets. If you are born in one area, you are surrounded by the “Purple” gang and if you join a gang, it will be the “Purple” gang, and if you know what is good for you then you will not even talk to a member of a different gang. Now I’m not implying that bloggers are gang bangers, but I think you get the idea of what I’m trying to say! Peer pressure may prevent people from changing to a different group, and fear of rejection from the other group may prevent people from even trying to change membership from one group to another.
Members of one group, in some cases, may feel themselves to be superior to others in different groups, and they may even strongly dislike and/or distrust the other groups. They may even blame their troubles on the other group. This is called “scapegoating” and it is a normal and completely natural way that societies work. The “benefit” of “scapegoating” is that it builds cohesion within the group so that they will put aside their own personal and petty grievances with each other and work together in their desire to focus their negative energy onto the “scapegoat” of the moment.
I’m not saying that is a good thing, but it exists and it can be manipulated by people with great leadership skills. It can be a great motivator for change. That change can be good, or it can be evil. This, for better or for worse, is one of the ways that society works.
The perfect example of this would be how Hitler manipulated the German people into doing terrible things to each other.
Somewhere, sometime, in a universe far, far away, self-proclaimed SEO experts decided to separate SEO techniques into three groups and call them “White Hat” (Google loves) “Black Hat” (Google hates.) and “Gray Hat” (Google suspects but hasn’t proved it to be evil yet.) There is a web page that I just found and decided to share for this article that discusses the definitions and differences of the three SEO Hats. As for me, well, I’m a member of the Ladies Red Hat Society, so I’m just a little bit crazy and try to make the best of any situation I find myself in.
(There, now do you see how I got Hitler into a discussion about SEO and hats? I warned you, I’m a little bit crazy! And I am wondering if by putting both of those words in the title of my post I might get some strange search results!)